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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I was amused to read about the woman who plucked her "whiskers" at the table in the restaurant. I know EXACTLY why she does it –- especially if she sits by the window. It's because the light is probably better than at home!

Obviously she needs a lighted magnifying mirror at home – and she definitely should do her tweezing there. Tsk, tsk, so unmannerly. -– J.G. IN FRESNO

DEAR J.G.: You are not the only reader who was moved to write about the public plucker. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Perhaps you should have consulted an expert in geriatric medicine regarding the letter about the woman tweezing the hairs on her chin. It could be a textbook symptom of senile dementia.

My guess is, as our population continues to age and some caring friends or relatives are willing to take our senior citizens out of the nursing home for a meal in a restaurant to provide a little variety in their lives, we're probably going to see more of this behavior in public places. Get over it! Wisely, the man with this woman has given up on the idea that she's capable of changing her behavior and ignores it. He just makes sure her tweezers are in her purse before he takes her out! –- BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, CINCINNATI

DEAR BEEN THERE: Oh, if it would only stop at plucking! Read on:

DEAR ABBY: If "Harriett in Hollywood" was astonished when a diner in a restaurant plucked her chin hairs at the table, hear this:

A few years ago, we were enjoying a lovely luncheon in a nice restaurant in Florence, Ore. The couple at the next table had just finished their meal. While they waited for the check, the gentleman whipped out his dentures and swished them in his water goblet, while his companion watched the waves on the shore. –- BESS IN EUGENE

DEAR BESS: Now I've heard everything. Obviously he mistook the goblet for something he could sink his teeth into. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Basically I agree with your answer to "Harriett in Hollywood," that the woman displayed bald indifference to common table manners. However, her eyesight may be failing and the window seat at noon offered her the light she needed to complete her tweezing task. Bad taste, yes. She may also have limited funds, and therefore be unable to have this task performed for her at her beauty salon. However, I believe we should be a little more tolerant of our seniors, and more charitable. –- DAILY READER, ALTOONA, PA.

DEAR DAILY READER: I agree -– but how about applying that philosophy of tolerance and charity not only to seniors but to everyone as well? There would be less depression and fewer stress disorders if people were slower to criticize.

CONFIDENTIAL TO NERVOUS GROOM: Ogden Nash gave sage advice for wedded bliss that applies to both the bride and the groom:

"To keep your marriage brimming,

"With love in the loving cup,

"Whenever you're wrong, admit it;

"Whenever you're right, shut up."

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